Sunday, July 6th
Here is the rest of my day in Modena...
As I was leaving the Galleria Estense, I stopped to thank the woman and the two men who checked my ticket when I entered the museum. I thanked them and told them how much I enjoyed my visit. They asked where I was from. I said "Hawaii". The woman could not believe it. She kept saying "Hawaii?!!" in a very animated voice over and over. She could not even imagine what it would be like to live in Hawaii and started asking me all kinds of questions about what it was like to live there, the weather, the food, the beaches, the temperature, etc. etc. She then asked me what I did. I told her that I taught children ages 3 & 4 and that school started again in the end of July. She could not believe that we had school in August. She again said over and over "agosto?!!" She was so animated and just could not believe this.
We then talked about the euro-dollar difference and I said that now is a good time for them to travel to the US. One of the men wanted me to write down the difference between the euro and the dollar and then started calculating the cost if he traveled to the US. Next we started talking about different places to visit in the US.
And finally...the converstation turned to politics. It is so interesting how just about every person I have spoken to here in Italy is so interested in the US politics. At one point, they asked where Obama's mother was from. I told them Kansas. No one knew where Kansas was. I tried to explain and then thought of the movie, The Wizard of Oz. The conversation became quite animated as I tried to explain the movie, talking about the tornado and the house, and then everything in color, and finally Toto and clicking the shoes 3 times. The woman in one of the rooms in the museum who was working there and not so friendly, came over to us and said "SHHHH" very loudly with a grumpy face. She left, and we continued our conversation. They asked me to write down the name of the movie so they could look it up later on the internet. Once I wrote it down, they realized I was talking about "Mago di OZ". At that point none of us could even remember why we were talking about this movie. IWe finally remembered. I don't think they ever figured out where Kansas was located.
An hour had passed and I said that I had to leave to catch a train back to Bologna. I asked to use the bathroom first and had to walk by the crabby lady (there were only 2 other people in the entire museum when she came out to shush us). I smiled at her as I walked by her. She was not so friendly. As I left, I thanked them again for a wonderful time. They apologized for keeping me so long. I told them that it was not a problem for me and that I really enjoyed talking to them.
The walk to the train station was another 15 or 20 minutes. I then had to wait about an hour for the next train. The train station was packed. There was a huge crowd waiting for another train (everyone with luggage) and when I returned to Bologna, I could not believe how crowded it was. At 9pm until the following night at 9pm all trains and buses were going on strike (lo sciopero) and so I guess everyone was trying to travel a day earlier.
I was not able to figure out the bus schedules yet and could not find any Tabaccheria shops so I ended up walking back. My feet were soooo tired when I got back to my hotel 30 minutes later. Because it was Sunday night, many restaurants were closed. The hotel recommended Le Mura, an osteria across the street from my hotel. That sounded wonderful to me since I don't think I could walk much farther.
The restaurant or osteria was ok but not one of my favorites. First it was very smokey inside. No one was actually smoking when I was there but there was no air circulation and either the people that ran the restaurant smoked inside before the restaurant was open or the smoking right at the doorway left the smell. The menu was meat based. The waiter and perhaps the owner was extremely nice. He offered to make me some penne pasta with a tomato and cream sauce. I also ordered some grilled vegetables. The food was good but not anything to rave about but I was too tired to really care.
My day in Modena was wonderful. I definitely would like to return there again someday. Leslie, I thought of you and even re-read your posts about Modena before I left for Italy this year. I expected to like Modena, but I really did not expect to love Modena.